Ch 5 physical geogrpahy of the U.S. and Canada Notes


World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada

The United States and Canada

Similarities (USA and Canada)

Both the US and Canada were colonies of __________ ______________

Both are primarily ______________ speaking

Similar physical and cultural geography

2 nd

(Canada) and 3 rd

(USA) largest countries in the world

Both abundant in natural ___________________

Physical Geography

There is a wide variety of ________________ throughout the US and


Major landform divisions are as follows: o

The _____________ Lowlands o

The _________________ Highlands o

The Interior ________________ o

The Western Mountains, Plateaus, and Basins

Eastern Lowlands

A flat, coastal plain that runs along the ______________ _________ and the ___________ of Mexico.

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is home to many excellent harbors providing an ideal home for major coastal cities including _____________ and


The _________________ River empties into the gulf in this region.

The Piedmont Region is an area found between the plains and the

Appalachian Highlands. It is a low plateau at the foot of the mountains with many rivers and hills.


World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada

Appalachian Highlands

The Appalachian ___________________ are found in this region.

The mountains extend from Newfoundland, ______________ down to

________________ (1,600 miles).

Mountain ranges found in the Appalachian Mountains include: Green,

Catskill, Blue Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains.

More than ___________ million years old.

This range has eroded over time. The elevation is relatively _________ for a mountain range.

The Appalachian Trail spans the entire length of the range.

Interior Lowlands

A huge expanse of mainly level land.

Contains some of the world’s most _________________ soil.

Divided into 3 subregions: o

The _________________ Plains o

The Great Plains o

The _______________ Shield o

The Great Plains is a mostly _______________ area about 4,000 ft above sea level o

The Canadian Shield is a rocky, flat area covering most of the

Hudson Bay area.

Western Mountains, Plateaus, and Basins

This area includes the Rocky Mountains. The ________________ extend from Alaska, through Canada, to New Mexico.


World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada

This is a young mountain range. It has a much higher average

_________________ than the Appalachian Mountains.

The ____________________ _______________ is the line of highest points in the Rockies that separates rives flowing eastward and westward.

Western Mountains, Plateaus, and Basins

This area also includes a large amount of mixed landforms extending to the ________________ Ocean.

Major _________________ occur in this area.

This Pacific Mountain and Valley area is made up of steep cliffs, deep canyons, and lowland deserts (basins).

Western Mountains, Plateaus, and Basins

______________ Valley is located at the western edge of the Great

Basin in __________________.

It is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at ___________ ft below sea level.

Bodies of Water

Great Lakes








World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada

Bodies of Water


____________________ (longest in the USA) o

Missouri River feeds into the Mississippi o

Ohio River also feeds into the Mississippi

_____________________ River (longest river in Canada) o

Flows across the Northwest Territories to the Arctic Ocean

________ ______________ River o o

Serves as a border between the USA and Mexico

Empties into the Gulf of Mexico

Bodies of Water

________________ Bay o

Large body of water in Northern Canada o

Extends from the Atlantic Ocean

Gulf of Mexico o

Large body of water south of the USA

Bodies of Water

St. Lawrence ________________ o

Created by the USA and Canada o

Most important deepwater ship route in North America


World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada


__________________ the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the St. Lawrence River o

Ships are raised and lowered by a series of “____________” o

This enables huge vessels to sail into the industrial and agricultural heartland of North America


The US and Canada hold an abundance of natural __________________

Large lakes and rivers provide _________________________, irrigation, abundant fishing, and hydroelectric power

Lakes and rivers also sustain important _________________ industries in North America

Both countries contain some of the most fertile soil in the world (mainly the plains regions and river valleys)

North America is the world’s leading food exporter

One-half of Canada and one-third of America is covered by

_______________. Both countries are major producers of lumber and forest products

Climate and Vegetation

North America is home to a large variety of _______________ and vegetation

Most of the USA is in the mid-latitudes

Canada has ________________ temperatures because it lies in higher latitudes


Colder Climates

World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada

___________________ o

Alaska and Canada both have arctic regions known as tundra o

Winters are long and bitter cold o

Summers are short and cool o

Evergreen trees are found in vast quantities here o

Permafrost can be found in some areas as well

__________________ o

The Rocky Mountains and Pacific ranges o

Colder temperatures o

Little vegetation

Moderate Climates


_____________ Continental o

Interior USA and Canada o

Winters are cold and summers are warm o

One of the best agricultural areas in the world o

______________ West Coast o

The Rocky Mountains trap moisture along the pacific coast o

Affected areas in Washington, Canada, and Oregon are typically rainy o

California redwoods are a product of this climate zone


World Geography

Chapter 5

Ch. 5.1-5.2 The United States and Canada

Milder Climates (primarily USA)


Humid Subtropical o

Southern United States o

_____________________ o

Central and southern coasts of California

Dry Climates (Only USA)


________________ o

Great Plains o

Desert o

Southwestern USA

Tropical Climates (Only USA)


________________ __________ o

Hawaii o

Tropical Wet and Dry o

Southern Florida o

Includes the ______________

**Consult Climate Chart from Chapter 3 for information on all climate zones